Serra da Estrela is a perfect place to be in contact with nature, because there are countless landscapes of great beauty in this natural park. One of the best ways to explore this region is by venturing along its official trails and footpaths, there being various options throughout the Serra da Estrela Natural Park that will allow you to pass through some of its two most emblematic locations.
You will go through typical and traditional villages, waterfalls, quase secret lakes and paths that only shepherds know. And you will also find some two most secret places in Serra da Estrela. Traveling these trails is a unique experience and allows me to get to know in depth what is one of the most beautiful regions of Portugal.
So that you begin to plan your visit, we leave you some trails and paths not to be missed. Do not hesitate to respect the sign and use comfortable footwear to do it!
1. Rota do Poço do Inferno
This is a circular route that has about 2.5 km and is considered medium difficulty. The road starts in the Poço do Inferno parking lot and, along the trail, you will enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Zêzere River Valley and the Ribeira de Leandres Valley.
The high point of the route is a waterfall Little Hella pool of water with about 10 meters, authentic ex-libris of Serra da Estrela.
2. Rota do Glacier
This linear trail is about 17.2 km long and has medium difficulty. You can start at any one of the two ends: next to the São Pedro church, in Manteigas, or at the Tower. The journey is made along the Zêzere glacier valley, tied to the Covão d’Ametade.
You will also be able to appreciate natural wonders along the way, such as the Covão do Ferro, the Pedra do Equilíbrio, the Barroca dos Teixos, the Espinhaço do Cão, the Cântaro Magro and the Cântaro Gordo.
3. Route of the Central Massif
There are two more beautiful trails in Serra da Estrela, but there are also two more demanding ones. This circular trail starts not Covao d’Ametade and we take a route through the entrances of the majestic Maciço Central da Serra da Estrela.
You will be able to see places like Covão d’Ametade, Covão Cimeiro, os Cântaros, Lagoa dos Cântaros, Lagoa da Paixão and Salgadeiras. It is not a very long trail, but its sharp declines make it a fairly physically demanding route.
4. Rota da Levada
This circular route with 16 km begins in the village of headand accompanies the community levada até chegar à vila de loriga. Along the way, you will be able to discover places such as the Vale da Ribeira de Loriga, the water mills, the agricultural socalcos of Loriga, or the Poço da Broca de Serapitel and the Marmitas de Gigante.
The journey between Cabeça and Loriga is well marked, but when I return to Cabeça it is not well marked, so it will be possible to return to the taxi.
5. Route of the Faias
This circular trail with medium difficulty follows the length of a faias forest, which was planted at the beginning of the 20th century. The trail begins at Cruz das Jugadas, about 7 km from Manteigas, and has a total distance of 5.4 km.
Along the way, you will be able to contemplate the most beautiful landscapes on the valley of the Zêzere Glacier, the Torre, the Lean and Fat Pitches and the Golden Penhas. All the seasons are good for traveling this trail, but the place has a special charm in autumn.
6. Rota do Carvao
It is a circular route with about 20 km, which is considered difficult. Start in Manteigas and continue up a climb to the Observatório das Penhas Douradas, passing through places like Casa da Fragaor Miradouro do Fragão do Corvo, or Seixo Branco, Vale das Éguas and Nave da Mestra.
It is a journey that is mixed with the own history of Manteigas, especially not that pays respect to pastoralism, the centeio, the forest and the production of carvão to sell.
7. Rota do Covão dos Conchos
This linear route, with about 10 km and of easy difficulty, will allow you to discover the grandeur of Covão dos Conchoswhich is located at more than 1500 meters of altitude and is a kind of tunnel, which transports the collected waters from Ribeira das Naves to Lagoa Comprida.
Along the way, which starts at Lagoa Comprida, you will find some of the most beautiful landscapes of Serra da Estrela.
8. Route from Vale do Rossim to Nave da Mestra
This circular route, of medium difficulty and with 14 kilometers, starts from Praia Fluvial do Vale do Rossim and passes next to the banks of the lagoon of Vale do Rossim, continuing through Vale das Éguas.
It crosses the famous Talisca da Mestra, até chegar à Nave da Mestra, two of the most beautiful places in the central massif of the Serra da Estrela Natural Park. The trail that links Vale do Rossim to Nave da Mestra is over 1500 meters above sea level and is not signposted.
9. Broken Throat of Loriga
This linear course, with 9 km and considered difficult, faces the connection between the upper plateau of Serra da Estrela and the village of Loriga, following paths barely used by shepherds.
Along the way, you will be able to discover the Loriga glacier valley, the covões do Boleiro, do Meio, da Nave and da Areia, the barragem of Covão do Meio and Eira da Pedra. Despite being short, or trailing, it is quite physically demanding, and in winter it can be covered with snow.
10. Canica Road
This circular route, of medium difficulty and with 7 km, starts next to Igreja Matriz da aldeia da Lapa dos Dinheirosfollowing in the direction of Ribeira da Caniça and its bridge.
Along the way, you will be able to see the Souto da Lapa (centenary carvalhos forest), several waterfalls, the Cornos do Diabo rock formation, and the Buraco do Sumo, an area where the riverbank runs underground under granite blocks.